Everton plans to propose a new long-term contract to left-back Lucas Digne as they look to fend off competition from Manchester City, according to sources.
A big part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season has been the French defender, with the Toffees still sitting in the top four going into Christmas Day.
Last week, Sportsmail announced that for the second half of the season, Pep Guardiola’s City is keen to improve their left-back department and Digne has been listed as one of the choices.
But Everton is trying to tie the 27-year-old to a new deal, according to The Times, and persuade him that his future at Goodison Park is better spent.
The full-back is reportedly out with an ankle ligament issue that he picked up at the end of November in training.
Digne is likely to miss another four weeks of play, meaning he will be missing for most of January’s Everton fixtures.
Up to that point, the Frenchman had played all but one of Everton’s games this season and although he is still to score, he has contributed four league assists.
Since his £ 18 million arrivals from Barcelona in the summer of 2018, French international Digne is closing in on 100 appearances in all competitions for Everton.
In his debut season, the left-back scored four Premier League goals to immediately endear himself to the faithful Toffees.
A new Finch Farm contract will be a blow to Pep Guardiola and City, who are trying to acquire a new left-back with Benjamin Mendy still struggling in terms of fitness for consistency.